Fair Isle

How hard is it to learn two color fair isle if you’ve done just about every other technique (lacework, entrelac, felting, moebius etc…)? I’ve just been worried about playing with more than one ball of yarn at the same time. Are there any tricks to making sure it lays right? I just found a christmas ornament pattern on knitpicks that I want to do that’s only two colors. I’ve always been intimidated by fair isle, am I just blowing it out of proportion?


edit* new options needles means I wanna try somethin new!!!

Ooh yes it looks scary! Hey, an ornament is the perfect project for a new technique like this. If you hate doing it, it will only take a short time to finish, and you can refuse ever to look at Fair Isle again. Or, worst case, you don’t do it at all, and you’ve only purchased a small amount of wool to find a new use for.
I thought I’d never do Fair Isle because it looks tricky and I had never seen a Fair Isle item that I wanted. I just think most Fair Isle objects are hideous (sorry to you FI fans!). Then I saw Eunny’s mittens and armwarmers and was converted. I’m going to learn colourwork. Soon. Truly. Anyway Eunny has some tips for colourwork beginners. Knitty has an article on it too. As far as I know a big problem is that a colour carried behind, if pulled too tight, will make the work pucker, the main tip I’ve seen suggested to stop this is to stretch your stitches far apart on the needle (apparently easier on wooden/bamboo needles) and pull the wool very loosely.
I’ve also seen a fingertip ring (like a thimble) that has loops to hold two strands of different colours, this may be very useful. Otherwise, I think being able to knit Continental may be helpful, so you can carry the two colours on different fingers.
But as far as I can tell, none of these is absolutely necessary. Good luck and please let us know how you find it!


You’ve tried lots of tricky things, you should certainly try this one! :thumbsup:

Start with a two color pattern. The main thing is to avoid having your strands too tight, as Sarah mentioned.

It is not imperative that you be able to knit both English and Continental, but it is nifty if you can. And this would be the perfect opportunity to try the other method.

Good luck!

I learned fair isle here. It’s very easy to understand and fun!

Philosophers wool

I do all my FI with my right hand–just a personal ‘disability’ :teehee: , but it’s certainly not difficult at all. Just keep your stitches stretched out on the right needle and you won’t pucker. It’s so much fun to see the patterns develop as you knit.

Fair isle is sooo much fun! I knit English and Conti when I fair isle (normally I knit Conti)–it takes some getting used to knitting both ways at once, but you’ll find that you develop a really nice rhythm. (I do, anyway!)